N.S. tightens isolation rules in wake of COVID-19 cluster in Halifax's Clayton Park area
16 active known cases, all of which are travel related or are close contacts
Nova Scotia tightened its isolation requirements Monday as a cluster of new COVID-19 cases was identified in a Halifax neighbourhood, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 16.
Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, said nine cases were identified in the Clayton Park area.
In light of the recent cases, Premier Stephen McNeil said travellers coming into Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic provinces would have to isolate away from family and friends, as new COVID-19 cases continue to be identified among close family contacts.
Previously, travellers could isolate with family or friends as long as physical distancing was ensured and a separate bathroom was used. Other individuals in the home did not need to self-isolate but had to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
Strang said if travellers don't have the accommodations to isolate alone, everyone in the household must also isolate.
"People need to understand that if they're taking people into their home ... they are imposing a full 14-day isolation on themselves and the rest of their household members," he said, adding that also includes children in the home.
The change does not affect rotational workers, specialized workers, people who have exceptions to attend a funeral or be with an immediate family member, and people who are exempt from self-isolation under the public health order, such as military, police, first responders, truckers and flight crews.
Cluster in Clayton Park
McNeil said he's concerned about the rising number of cases in the Central Zone, especially in the Clayton Park area, which also includes Rockingham, Kearney Lake, Bayer's Lake and Lakeside.
One new case in the zone was reported Monday and was identified as a close contact of a previously reported case, according to a provincial government release.
Strang said Public Health was working to identify possible contacts in the area, as several exposures were announced over the weekend, including:
- The Bitter End Martini Bar and Restaurant on Argyle Street in Halifax on Nov. 2 from 9 p.m. to close.
- All Nations Full Gospel Church worshipping at Saint Andrew's United Church on Coburg Road., Halifax on Oct. 25 at 6 p.m.
- Montana's BBQ and Bar on Chain Lake Drive in Halifax on Oct. 25 from 6 p.m. to close.
Anyone who was at these locations has been asked to call 811 to set up a test, even if they don't have symptoms.
Strang said Public Health was also working to make testing faster for those that may have been exposed at these locations by setting up a mobile testing unit in the Clayton Park area and giving testing priority to those who were at these three locations.
Two new possible exposures
On Monday, Public Health also warned people of two new possible COVID-19 exposures in Bedford, including:
- Sobeys Mill Cove, 961 Bedford Hwy. on Nov. 6 between 8-10 p.m.
- NSLC Mill Cove, 955 Bedford Hwy. on Nov. 6 between 8-9 p.m.
Anyone at these locations during these times have been asked to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Those exposed at these locations may develop symptoms up to, and including, Nov. 20.
Other alerts issued
Public Health alerted Nova Scotians about multiple potential exposures of COVID-19 in the Halifax area:
- Gahan House at 5239 Sackville St. on Nov. 4 from 7:45-11:45 p.m.
- Halifax Transit Route 59 from Portland Terminal to Alderney Terminal on Nov. 4 from 1-2 p.m.
- Braemar Superstore at 9 Braemar Dr. on Nov. 3 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Fit4Less Bedford at 1658 Bedford Highway on Nov. 3 from 7:30-11 p.m.
- Canada Games Centre on Thomas Raddall Dr. on Nov. 2 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
- BMO Soccer Centre at 210 Thomas Raddall Dr. on Nov. 1 from 6-9 p.m.
- Dollarama in Scotia Square Mall between Oct. 27-30 between 12-3 p.m.
- WestJet Flight 254 on Oct. 30 that departed 9:45 p.m., and arrived in Halifax at 1 a.m. AT on Oct. 31. Passengers in rows 39 to 45 in seats A, B, and C should call 811 for advice.
- Sobeys Clayton Park at 287 Lacewood Dr., on Nov. 3 between noon-1 p.m.
- Air Canada Flight 622 on Oct. 30 that departed Toronto at 6:40 p.m. and landed in Halifax at 9:41 p.m. AT. Passengers in rows 16 to 23 in seats D, E, and F should call 811 for advice.
- Chrismaria Family Restaurant on Commercial St. in New Minas between 1-5 p.m. on Oct. 24.
'We're not here to judge'
Strang said anyone who receives a call from Public Health is reminded to be honest about where they've been to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.
"We're not here to judge, we're just here to help people," he said. "Our only priority is to contain the spread of the virus and we can only do that if people are honest with us about the details of where they might have been and who they've been in contact with."
Five cases that were listed as active on Sunday are no longer considered active.
A government news release said Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 658 tests Sunday, although due to a technical issue, the number does not include some tests from labs outside of the Central Zone. The numbers will be updated when that information is available.
So far, Nova Scotia has had 1,129 positive cases and 65 deaths. No one is currently in hospital.
The latest numbers from around the Atlantic bubble are:
- New Brunswick reported one new case Sunday. It had 24 active cases.
- Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case Sunday. It had seven active cases.
- P.E.I. reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, both related to travel outside the Atlantic bubble. It had two active cases.
Anyone with one of the following symptoms should visit the COVID-19 self-assessment website or call 811:
- Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
Anyone with two or more of the following symptoms is also asked to visit the website or call 811:
- Sore throat.
- Shortness of breath.
- Runny nose.